Whether you’re a proud parent with a point-and-shoot or a seasoned pro that makes a living creating portraits of children, you understand the struggles of trying to get great shots of kids. Sometimes they cooperate, other times, they definitely don’t. But what makes kids so great is that from one minute to the next, they can give you a totally different version of themselves. That makes for some interesting photography!
Aside from all the big moments in life - their first step, their first boyfriend, their graduation from high school - there are less obvious shots to take along the way that will be just as informative (and maybe more so) about who the child is and what their life has been like. Let’s examine three of these less obvious types of shots.
Crying Fits and Temper Tantrums
Crying babies, tempestuous toddlers, and angst-filled teens may not sound like the best photographic subjects, but those less than stellar moments can make for emotion-filled and dramatic snapshots. Your children and the children that you photograph at your studio are far from perfect, so why not embrace that and document the “darker side” of childhood? A photo of a crying baby might not be something to hang on the wall next to their heavily posed first birthday portrait, but it is nevertheless a photo album-worthy addition that will help you or your clients tell a more complete story about that particular child.
Quirks and Mannerisms
Kids might display certain quirks or mannerisms that fade with time, or maybe it’s something that sticks with them for life. Whether that’s wrinkling their face in a certain way when they’re confused, covering their mouth with both hands when they’re excited, or rolling their eyes when they’re annoyed, capturing those little moments of personality can translate into a really dynamic photo.
The best part about photographing little quirks is that they add another element to the “other” side of the story. Not only are these types of shots candid, but they capture raw, unplanned moments in which your child demonstrates a quality that gets to the heart of who they are at that point in their life. What’s more, those mannerisms and quirky moments can crop up at any time, so whether you’re photographing your own children or taking studio shots of someone else’s kids, be on the lookout for those odd little moments that make for such authentic portraits.
Time With Friends
Parents naturally train their cameras on their own children, and when they take their kids in for a portrait shoot, it’s usually by themselves, with siblings, or with other family members.
But another important part of childhood is all those childhood friends. Including friends in snapshots of your own child gives insight into those all-important childhood relationships, especially as your child and his or her friends grow up and move away. Much like the photos of crying babies and angry teens, the photos you include in your child’s albums of their childhood pals playing games, laughing, or playing sports will be a meaningful addition to their collection of memories.
And why not invite friends along on more formal, professional shoots too? They might get silly and not cooperate well, but as we’ve seen with these examples, that could end up making for a much more genuine (and fun!) photo shoot in the end.